Radical media, politics and culture.


dis-REALITY, OVNI Film Festival 2011
Barcelona, Spain, Feb 22-27, 2011

Observatori de vídeo no identificat.

February 22nd to 27th
Opening 22nd at 8.30 p.m
CCCB - Montalegre 5 - Barcelona

Free admission.

“You are asleep, and your vision is a dream; all you are see is an illusion.” — Mahmud Shabistari, The Secret Garden. Persia, 18th century.

OVNI disReality aims to reflect upon different phenomena of the critique of reality, their repercussions and the horizons that they illuminate, or recall.
Extremely heterogeneous traditions and forms of experience radically question not only the concept of reality, but the very experience of the real.

Dubai in me * Videocracy * Life 2.0 * Paradise Later * Self Fiction * La Guerra apenas ha empezado * Il corpo delle Donne * Consumming Kids * Hashish Army * Costa de Cemento * Science and non-duality * Goldfarmers * Lost Satsanga Nisarghadata * Virtual Nothing * Bitch Academy * Maya by Papaji * Tantra Tibetano * Sufisme d'Afghanistà * Oscuros Portales * In Purgatorio

Archives Consultation: from 23th to 27th February. 5 pm to 11pm. Hall

Screening programme at: http://www.desorg.org

International Symposium in Visual Culture
Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey

Faculty of Communications, Department of Photography and Video
May 20-21, 2011
Deadline: 31.3.2011

Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture, the first of a series of international symposia on visual culture to be held at Bahçeşehir University, İstanbul, aims to enable discussion and debate on topics critical in the conceptualization, analysis, evaluation of and intervention in visual culture today.

Poster Design Competition for NYC Anarchist Book Fair

What: The NYC Anarchist Book Fair Collective is seeking a poster design for the 2011 NYC Anarchist Book Fair.

When: The deadline to submit a poster design is SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

How: When you submit your design:

1. send a color poster design as a jpg file (300 dpi - which means 600 x 600 pixel dimensions for a 2” x 2” image) to compassrose[at]riseup[dot]net net BEFORE the final hour of Sunday, February 27th (early submissions will be accepted!);

2. write “poster submission” in the subject line;

3. also include your name, as well as a contact telephone number and e-mail address;

4. on your proposed poster itself, please include the following information:

5th Annual New York City Anarchist Book Fair 2011
Saturday, April 9 - Sunday, April 10
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square, Manhattan
(near W 4th Subway Station)
Childcare on site. Bring your kids!
Booksellers, workshops, film festival, discussions, kids activities, and more!
Welcome to all! You don’t need to be an anarchist to come! (suggested text)

Poster Selection Show:
All submissions will be printed (by the Book Fair Collective) and displayed at a fundraising party (date at end of Feb/early March and location TBA) at which the poster will be chosen.

"Surrealism in the Arab World"
Maroin Dib, Abdul Kadar El-Janabi, Faroq El Juridy, Fadil Abas Hadi, Farid Lariby & Ghazi Younis

The current resurgence of surrealism in the Arab world is a revolutionary development of the greatest significance, demonstrating once more that the strategy of the unfettered imagination is always and necessarily global.

We publish here in English translation a manifesto in which our Arab comrades express their unequivocal interventionist orientation, sharply defined against their specific political and cultural background.

"Surrealism, Politics and Culture"
Neil Matheson

The celebrated photographs of André Breton, Diego Rivera and Léon Trotsky posing together in Mexico in 1938, at the time of their joint manifesto Pour un Art révolutionnaire indépendant, are usually seen as emblematic of a certain convergence of culture and revolutionary politics – and yet, paradoxically, most accounts of Surrealism’s engagement with politics pose the tide of revolutionary fervour as already receding by 1935, while 1938 has also been viewed as the year that Surrealism made the volte-face ‘from the street to the salon.’ A re-appraisal of Surrealism’s troubled relationship with political activism and organised politics has been long overdue, and therefore a collection which sets out not only to analyse in depth some of the key themes and crucial moments in that engagement, but also to rethink the condition of ‘the political’ itself in its relationship with culture, is to be welcomed.

"The Nile of Surrealism: Surrealist Activities in Egypt"
Abdel Kader El-Janabi

[Part of this paper was read on the 26th September 1987 at the conference: The Triumph of Pessimism, held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.]

I. In his first letter to Georges Henein, sent on April 8 1936, André Breton had this to say: The imp of the perverse, as he deigns to appear to me, seems to have one wing here, the other in Egypt (1). Here André Breton foretold in a sense the course the surrealist intention would take in Egypt from 1936 to 1952. The purpose of this paper is to present a critical survey of surrealism in Egypt, in which we will see that, in spite of the protagonists’ original aim to allow surrealism to break through Egyptian reality in the hope of making it respond to the needs of a society undergoing what some historians have aptly phrased the crisis of orientation (2), their efforts finally turned out, ephemeral, to be, though very resounding, flappings of Breton’s wing. What seems to have happened was a settling of accounts in favour of surrealist creation as part of the French presence in Egypt, rather than a communication with the native that would take account of the emancipatory message of surrealism. On the contrary, what was communicated to the Egyptian public was rather the narrative of progress under the sign of Reason than the liberating sign of the Irrational. We will see in due course that the blame for such a paradox should not be placed entirely on the proponents of surrealism in Egypt, but rather on the inherently closed character of Arabic society in the face of occidental innovation, the fact being that this society would dismiss any such form of innovation. Our concluding remarks will address the question of the inherent failure of Occidental modernity in so far as it dreams of playing a significant role in an alien context. For though it may play such a role, it is on condition that it renounces, both in theory and practice, its fundamental given.

"Egyptian Surrealism and 'Degenerate Art' in 1939"
Don LaCoss

“A group of artists that has been formed in Egypt which calls itself the ‘Degenerate Art Group’ is now in the process of breaking up,” began a report by ‘Aziz Ahmad Fahmi in Cairo’s al-Risala in early July 1939. “It has failed to find the support it had hoped for among artists, the media, and the general public. Not one writer, journalist, or other visitor has called at its headquarters in the Shari‘ al-Madbagh building to hear what its members have to say.”

Fahmi, an arts critic on al-Risala’s editorial board, went on to explain why he felt that, fundamentally and conceptually, this had been a doomed project from the start. He wrote that the kind of degenerate art that this group was calling for was not possible because the term itself is oxymoronic: True art could never be degenerate, since, by definition, art is the supreme expression of the human spirit, and as such it is “honest,” “elevated,” and “high-minded” - it could never be “degraded” or “corrupt” in the way that degenerate things are. The value of artistic work is assessed on the artist’s heartfelt commitment to beauty and craft rather than the work’s style or subject matter; texts, images, or objects routinely turned out by disinterested hacks for reasons other than deeply held personal vision or expression are either “tomfoolery” or “merchandise” and so do not qualify as “art.” The idea of “degenerate art,” then, was a wrongheaded contradiction in terms.

2011 MLG Institute on Culture and Society
06/20-24/2011, University of Illinois at Chicago

Call for Papers
2011 Marxist Literary Group Institute on Culture and Society
Special Topic: "What Is Revolution?"
Deadline for Proposals: March 1, 2011.

The Marxist Literary Group´s 2011 Institute on Culture and Society
(2011 MLG-ICS) will convene this summer (June 20-24) on the campus of
the University of Illinois at Chicago. As always, any submission that
engages seriously with Marxist thought will be considered, including,
but not limited to, Marxist considerations of literature or literary
considerations of Marxism. This year´s special topic will be "What is
Revolution?" What is class struggle? Can there be one without the
other, as horizon or precondition? How does radical social change take
place? Is it necessary to have a theory of revolution, or is it better
to pursue an intelligent opportunism? Does Marxism require revolution?
Does revolution require class? What would a plausible political
subject, or a plausible subject of history, look like today? Does our
present moment hold any revolutionary possibility? What contemporary
movements, possibilities, and practices hold promise (or do not)? Is
there a plausible relationship today between aesthetic practices and
the end of capitalism (as we know it)? How does one represent what is
only possible, not actual? Is "struggle" another name for the
possible? What is the relationship between politics as such and the
economic as such? What is the relationship between politics and
thinking, between revolution and philosophy? These questions and
others will be the focus of this year´s Institute. Selected papers
will be invited for submission to Mediations (mediationsjournal.org).
Recent years´ programs can be accessed at mlg.eserver.org/the-institute.

Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune Film Review by John Pietaro

PHIL OCHS: THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE Directed by Ken Bowser (www.philochsthemovie.com). Released, January 2011.

Voina, The Russian Art Anarchists, Explain Themselves"Marlon Dolcy

The Russian art anarchist group Voina is known for drawing an enormous cock on a bridge opposite the ex-KGB offices, and instigating a sex party in a museum. Last week UK street art phenom Banksy declared that all profits from his current print sale would be gifted to the group's defense. We spoke to the group (half of which were replying from prison).


Subscribe to Culture